Best Fertility Book in the 2023 Fertility Care Awards
We are so thrilled that our joint project with the European Sperm Bank is a Winner in this year’s prestigious Fertility Care Awards.
These awards aim: “To acknowledge the outstanding achievement of individuals, clinics, organisations, products, and services in the fertility industry”.
They are run by the European Fertility Society (“EFS”), an evidence-based society that gives tools, support and education to patients and fertility clinics. EFS aims at facilitating and increasing patients’ support and positive experience during their fertility journey; advocating universal improvements in patient care.
Julie from ESB and Sali from Sensitive Matters were at the awards. Sali comments:
“What an incredible event. In total there were 132 applications from 13 countries, with 8 winners and 8 highly commended. We could not have been more delighted to have won Best Fertility Book. We will continue to work with ESB to deliver the kind of support we know recipient parents need and value. We are extremely proud to have won this award – we have worked so hard to develop our customisable children’s books. It means the world to get this recognition.
“It was fabulous to spend time with friends in the fertility space and to have a laugh with them. And what a beautiful city Copenhagen is!”
A brief description of our project
After a gruelling 12-year fertility journey, Sali’s son was born in 2017 with the help of an egg donor and a gestational surrogate. At the time, she couldn’t find a book that incorporated both elements of her son’s conception and birth story. She also realised that there were no editable books available. She wrote the Magic of You as a fully editable story and founded Sensitive Matters in late 2019 as a print-on-demand publisher of fully editable books for talking to children about egg and sperm donation or surrogacy.
There are multiple versions of each book, making it suitable for all family types. Parents edit a default book online by changing the words and illustrations and adding photos. When ready, they check-out and the book is printed and sent to the customer anywhere in the world.
European Sperm Bank (ESB) was founded in 2004 and helps aspiring parents across the world to have the family of their dreams. At ESB, the commitment to families goes beyond helping parents have a healthy child, they also want to be there for the families and the children when they grow up. For that reason, in 2020 they developed a specific child donor programme. The programme consists of a range of activities and resources aimed at supporting parents, donor children and also donors after they have stopped donating.
In spring 2022, Sensitive Matters launched a project that gave businesses the ability to create their own branded versions, with their own colours and style. This allows fertility businesses to gift a branded version of the Magic of You to their clients.
When ESB learned about this service, they immediately contacted Sensitive Matters. They believed that not only would it serve their aim of assisting families and children after conception - but that it would also assist parents in being transparent about their child's origins. According to research, telling your child they are donor-conceived as soon as possible is one of the most significant things you can do for their well-being and understanding of themselves. They talk about the initiative in this blog.
Working closely together, Sensitive Matters and ESB developed a custom version of the Magic of You with ESB’s branding and brand colours. We translated the agreed text into several European languages and the books are currently available in English, German, Dutch and Danish, with others to follow soon.
Our goal for 2022/3 was to reach as many as possible of ESB’s clients who had a baby with sperm from one of their donors.
Good things about our project
There are four key strengths of our Sensitive Matters and ESB partnership: customisation, innovation, collaboration and leadership.
Customisation: The Magic of You is different to other books available - it transforms the experience of telling. Not only does the book make telling really easy, but the children love their book. Parents add their child’s name to the title and their child’s photo on the cover. From start to finish the book is all about them – the story of their conception and how much they are loved. It is so much more than 'just another story book' to them. And this means they have only positive feelings attached to the experience of finding out.
As one of our customers said: “Telling your child how they came to be doesn’t have to be hard! There are so many beautiful pages in this book, and everything is customizable. I was able to change the words, photos, colors, etc. and I am so happy with how it turned out.”
Innovation: We have used modern print-on-demand and web-to-print technology to allow us to create a branded book that the end user can customise. This was an important consideration for European Sperm Bank in partnering with Sensitive Matters. Having a custom, branded book that allows their clients to tell their own story, allows ESB to offer their clients a better experience.
Collaboration: Recent results show that recipient parents want more support from the fertility industry, and the right levels of support will only be possible through close collaboration and innovative solutions. Sensitive Matters and ESB worked closely to develop ESBs custom version of the Magic of You and we continue to work closely together to deliver the service to the end user.
Leadership: Sensitive Matters recently ran a survey of recipient parents, asking them whether they felt they receive enough support from the fertility industry. As many as 84% of parents reported they had received no support or resources for talking to their children about their genetic origins and 97% felt that the industry should do more to support recipient parents. Our survey results show clearly that parents need and want support in telling and raising their donor conceived children. By providing a sponsored book for talking to donor conceived children at a young age, European Sperm Bank is leading from the front and together Sensitive Matters and European Sperm Bank are setting a new standard for the industry.
How our project has impacted patient care.
Sensitive Matter’s recent survey results reveal that there is a real disconnect between what parents think and know when they are trying to conceive and what they think and learn once they become parents. Parents told us that they need help in knowing how to talk to their children and when to talk to them about their genetic origins.
Providing a means for parents to talk to their children at a young age provides one element of the help parents need. Being able to gift a book to their clients means ESB has raised their standards of care and Sensitive Matters is facilitating a patient-centered approach for the industry.
Through our collaboration, ESB is demonstrating their forward-thinking approach to putting the interests of donor conceived people and their families at the heart of their business. Julie Paulli Budtz, ESB:
“Our commitments to families go beyond helping parents have a healthy child; we also provide resources to support children as they grow up. We view this gift as an important tool to help parents start the dialogue about donor conception with their toddlers or pre-schoolers”.
Customer testimonials for the Magic of You
Our Magic of You books provide a means for parents to be open and honest with their donor conceived children about their origins at an early age, so the child will grow up never knowing a time they didn’t know. With them, we want to help as many parents as possible who are unsure how to tell and when to tell.
Our customer testimonials on Trustpilot speak for themselves:
I cannot thank Sensitive Matters enough for giving me the best tool to teach my son about the way he came to be. It is so important for donor conceived individuals to grow up knowing their story. I love that Sensitive Matters made it easy for me to share complex issues in a way that my son can understand and to customize it to our own family’s journey. This is more than a book; it’s the story of our family and it will be treasured for years to come.”
Great to find a site that supports all kinds of families !!! The process of making the book was FUN and EASY to adapt to a story about a child with two mummies .... easy to upload photos and change the text to exactly suit the circumstances ... VERY IMPRESSED with the QUALITY of the finished product ... arrived quickly and exactly as expected ... Thank you SENSITIVEMATTERS ...”
With our B2B project, we wanted to reach more parents, give parents a better experience and help the industry to offer a better quality of care to patients and clients. The joint project with European Sperm Bank has not been running for long and customers are just starting to make their books, but already we have received very positive feedback with customers really appreciating that the books are free and also available in several European languages.
Customer comments on Instagram:
“O wow, it a gift!? You're already part of the greatest gift I've been given”
“how beautiful! I will definitely order one of the Dutch version is available.”
“oh my gosh, this is awesome news - what a wonderful idea”
“Oh yeah! Please also offer in German”
“What a wonderful idea! Already sent an email for the gift code. I am so curious for the German version”
Our goal for 2022 and beyond was to reach as many as possible of ESB’s clients who had a baby with sperm from one of their donors.
European Sperm Bank has been raising awareness about the book through their own media platforms, mobilising influencers, and providing actual copies to the fertility clinics with which they collaborate. Their hope is that all of the families they assist will have one or more copies of the book on their bookshelves throughout time.
We know from the feedback that we have received so far that over time, together we will reach more families and ensure more children have access to the story of their origin.
“Emmi absolutely loves us reading books and currently, this is one of her favourites! “The Magic of You” is a gift from European Sperm Bank to their customers and luckily, our family is one of those.” The Schoenberg Family